Live blog: Latest version of BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer - new features
BBC iPlayer - new features

The BBC is showing off the new version of its iPlayer service at a press event in London.

Major new features will be announced for the popular video on demand service.

iPlayer chief Erik Huggers has already told TechRadar that he is "excited" at the raft of changes to one of the world's most popular internet television services.

Live updates (hit F5 to refresh page)

9:15: Anthony Rose and Erik Huggers are presenting

9:16: Huggers talking about iPlayer history; "when I looked back at what it looked like in launch, I think it's already changed a great deal."

9:19: Huggers - "The service has done a phenomenal job."

9:20: "We're just scratching the surface of video on demand." Huggers believes that there is a huge increase in audience coming for VOD.

9:23: "We were probably the first that really got [online VOD] right," says Huggers.

9:24: A look at 2010 strategy - for Future media and technology focus is on putting quality first, says Huggers.

9:25: TV confined by spectrum, says Huggers, "On the internet if you buy a new server suddenly you have a new service." Talks about unlimited shelf space of internet.

9:26: "Internet is at heart of BBC's future," an important point from Huggers.

9:28: New iPlayer details coming, Film running to showcase new details.

9:29: New iPlayer is simpler, more personalised, better connected

9:30: There's definitely social networking built in, and Friends recommendations and mention of 'having programmes ready for you'.

9:31: Anthony Rose - in his last appearance before he heads off to be CTO of Project Canvas - is going to talk through the new features.

9:32: Rose: It's more of an application than a website. Home page is customisable. Modules can be moved around and this will be remembered. Recommendation system learns what you like with a 'for you' personal reccomendations.

9:34: 'Most popular' is staying and being enhanced. Facebook and Twitter will be brought into BBC iPlayer - you can have recommendations from your social contacts.

9:35: Inbox style view with favourite programmes and an update of your favourites and which are expiring. You can add favourites and it will remember between series. Nice function. Very TiVo.

9:36: You can favourite by genre - add an entire category for your favourites.

9:36: TV and Radio will be separated 'separate but intermingled' says Rose.

9:37: Improvements to live streaming. Adapted bitrate system will use latest tech that will check connection every few seconds - should get better quality says Rose. Also a higher top bitrate added. Cool

9:38: You can add favourites from mobile - remote record 'coming in a few weeks'

9:39: You can add comments, like etc to shows - BBC ID will be linked up to Facebook and Twitter - you can see the recommendations of your friends from within the iPlayer 'a complete social ecosystem'

9:41: Series downloads coming to an all new desktop iPlayer version - you can also click to download future programmes when assets are available.

9:43: Look at new desktop - live TV and Radio both added - available in 2 weeks time.

9:45: most exciting til last says Rose - it's integration of Windows Live messenger. You can see what your friends are watching and what minute you are watching so that you can sync and have live chat about the programme.

9:46: Chat and live TV integration 'the Holy Grail' says Rose. Feature coming in a few weeks.

9:47: Huggers - "There's more" BBC going to be sending consumers to other long-form content (later in the year) Module on home page of TV section of BBC Online to ITV Player, 4OD, Clic, Demand Five and SeeSaw.

9:48: "No sharing of technology, no syndication of content" just meta data - hear that Competition Commission? Huggers keen to surface other people's content. We send user to website where it gets consumed.

9:50: iPlayer is going live NOW in beta. There's a promotional banner to take you through to the beta - formal launch is end of June, early July

9:51: Huggers says Sky are considering being included in the module. Huggers believes search will be improved even further. Partners will appear on EPG module.

9:54: Live Messenger chose because it was the largest, will be rolled out to other chats. 'A toe in the water,' says Huggers.

9:56: "If you do like a Channel 4 programme - you can add to favourites and it will then alert you and send you off to 4OD when you click on it" Huggers says. Nice functionality.

9:56: BBC "doesn't need its own social network," says Huggers. "We integrate and link through to 3rd party so we don't have to build it."

9:58: Downloaded content details: rules stay same - 30 days storage, once you start 7 days to watch it, download is that computer only.

10:00: "BBC Global iPlayer is still a priority," says Huggers.

10:01: Google TV "An interesting new product that shows level of competition in the marketplace," says Huggers. "I welcome Google TV personally, I see Google TV as a fantastic receiver for iPlayer. Our goal and mission is very clear - we want to make our services available on a platform neutral basis."

10:03: BBC ID has been modernised and improved, and you can link it to Facebook and Twitter.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.